UFlex, one of India’s largest multinationals in flexible packaging materials and solutions and a global leader in polymer sciences has been riding the waves of innovation to build packaging products, applications, and solutions that will further enhance the role of packaging as a value-added responsible packaging.
In the quarter ending December 2021, UFlex unveiled a range of new products and solutions that meets various packaging needs of brands while aiding the consumers with added convenience and features. These developments affirm UFlex’ 360-degree focus on brand needs, user experience, and commitment towards the environment.
Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman, and Managing Director UFlex Limited said, “UFlex has been walking the green path by recycling post-consumer MLP mixed plastic waste; upcycling recycled resins into our PCR films range and also creating solutions that use lesser amount of virgin plastic at source. The new high-value line of products and solutions are aimed at the adoption of responsible packaging and mirrors our increased focus and investments in R&D.”
“We have already been recycling almost 30,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year with a target to reach 1,00,000 tonnes. The new recycling lines to be commissioned in our Mexico and Poland facility and the proposed recycling infrastructure in Egypt will help us realize our vision,” he added.
Highlighted below are some of the marque products and solutions unveiled during the quarter.
Flexible Packaging Business
1) 3D Bags with Perforation to Give Kids an Easy-tear Experience: Kids unboxing their gift packs is nothing less than a celebratory ritual where they seek an emotional experience in checking what’s inside the pack. However, when opening the package becomes an arduous task, it dampens their spirit. UFlex’ product development team responded to the brand’s ask for convenience that children need to access the toys or goodies inside the pack easily and introduced a smart solution by adding one extra attachment with a perforation line on the 3D bag enabling easy tearing of the pack. This absolutely novel concept has added convenience to the joy and enthusiasm of children opening the package, thus making the brand enjoy popularity amongst them.
2) Standee Spout Pouches to Pour Out Chai: Beverage cafes have been embracing innovations that help them cover the last mile smoothly to deliver hot, piping tea in its most pristine state to chai-lovers. Fulfilling the need for beverage cafes to retain the temperature of tea for a long duration, UFlex has developed a special standee spout pouch that delivers the comfort of drinking brewed tea and enhances users’ experience. The pouch structure is made with BON and special grade PE along with a 21mm spout on the top for the spill-free pouring of the tea. With this pouch contained in a tea delivery box, the cafes are more confident of delivering the goodness of brewed tea at the doorstep of the consumers seamlessly.
3) Paper-based Packaging Laminate for Tetley Tea Bags: With rising concerns around packaging waste, Tata Consumer Products wanted to make a switch to sustainable packaging for its brand ‘Tetley Tea’ collaborated with UFlex to supply its green tea bags in paper-based packaging. For this, UFlex developed a packaging structure made of paper and aluminum foil with a registered hot stamping feature using emerging high energy curing chemistries to deliver high performance and low migration product system that supports cross-linking of inks and high gloss coatings.
The advanced development process at UFlex besides being environment friendly with no CO2 emissions replaces the conventional process in which solvents were used. The paper-based packaging structure can be easily recycled thereby taking the brand a step closer to its green mission and giving consumers a sense of pride in using sustainable packaging format.
1) Mirror Film for Safe and Appealing Toys: Toys help children have fun along with catering to their developmental needs and are often their best friend. But in a world that is crowded with different options, the toy manufacturers have a tough job of making them appealing for kids who are known to have a short attention span. To address this challenge, UFlex has introduced a mirror film for the toy segment under the ‘Make in India’ initiative to showcase its cutting-edge technology for toy segment applications.
This new product made of soft polyester material has been designed to incorporate various patterns to ensure learning without compromising on child safety. The mirror-like effect has been achieved with an acrylic coating on the film. Replacing the traditional glass, the toy’s mirror is unbreakable, foldable, and appropriate for a child’s use without any worries of accidents. Due to its success in the toy segment, extending its use in the fashion and accessories segment such as on handbags, wallets, shoes, etc. is being explored.
Packaging Films Business
1) High-barrier Metallized Recyclable BOPP Film ‘B-TUH-M’ for Food Packaging Applications: Low-unit packs (LUP) and Multi-unit packs (MUP) such as biscuits, bakery, and snacks often witness quick consumption. These packs require a packaging structure that is made using a metalized film that offers superior oxygen (<10cc/m2/day) and moisture barrier (<0.10 gm/m2/day) with robust seal performance. B-TUH-M, a high barrier and robust seal metalized BOPP film has been developed by UFlex to replace the three-layered structure with two-layers in numerous seal packaging formats especially multi-unit packs.
The film offers good optics, excellent printability, and consistent slip and anti-static properties. The high barrier film’s structure imparts excellent high seal strength of 1500 gm/25 mm, hermetic seal, high and broad hot tack, and low SIT. The film also offers good metal adhesion for brilliant metal appearance, good extrusion bond, and excellent resistance to metal cracking. Due to its ability to be recyclable and reduced layers in the laminate, this sustainable film is greening our portfolio even further.
2) Multi-layered Mono-material BOPP Film ‘B-TGM’ with Outstanding Oxygen, Aroma, and Moisture Barrier for Pouches and Bags: Some oxygen-sensitive foods like dry fruits and nuts need to be packed such that it helps retain their freshness and quality for long while locking in their aroma. The newly developed B-TGM BOPPis made to address the barrier requirements for oxygen, moisture, and atmosphere-sensitive products. B-TGM is a special effect coated BOPP film with the best oxygen barrier delivering the least OTRever for a BOPP film (<0.28 cc/m2/day).
It has excellent water barrier properties (<2.9 gm/m2/day) in duplex structure, exceptional moisture resistance, and low heat seal initiation temperature (95°C). The recyclable film that offers excellent clarity and product visibility is an environment-friendly solution; and has properties infused into the mono-material film through a unique step proprietary process onto a specially formulated coating and base film substrate. This multi-layered mono-material BOPP film substrate is specially designed with special polymers to achieve ease of processing for the converters that consequently enhance the shelf life of the packed products.
1) High-performance Sealing for Packaging with Flexbon 601A_Flexbon 601W Adhesive: A high opacity and two-component solvent-free white adhesive, ‘Flexbon 601A_Flexbon 601W’ is best suited for food packaging such as snacks and staples that requires added strength in sealing. It is compatible with various films such as PET/MET PET, BOPP/MET BOPP, PET/MET CPP. Due to its excellent wettability that helps it maintain firm contact with the substrate, the product reduces the requirement of white ink coating substantially and delivers good optics. These factors add value to clients’ products by offering optimum results that elevate the look of a printed pack considerably making them even more eye-catchy.
2) Two-Component Solvent-free Adhesive,Flexbon 702A_Flexbon 777C for Multiple Laminates: It is a two-component solvent-free adhesive used for general to medium performance in snack packaging applications. It provides a fast cure, high-run speeds with an excellent appearance to the laminates. This product offers excellent wetting on metalized substrates to give a speckling-free performance on PET, BOPP, LDPE, MBOPP, MCPP, and MPET based applications.
3) Flexcure Super Glide Coating for Lustrous Looking Packs: The attractive appearance of a clear, glossy coating is an important feature for many packaging applications. Flexcure Coating is a free-radical chemistry-based UV coating, that is applied in-line over wet or dry UV inks, or offline over dry conventional inks to impart excellent slip and scuff resistance properties. Flexcure Super Glide Coating is a great fit for fast curing in different types of food and non-food applications such as PVC sheets, mono-cartons, and book titles.
4) FlexFab HR Ink for Cement and Fertilizers Packaging: Packaging for building materials and fertilizers require ink with sharp printability and impressions due to the intrinsic woven packaging structure. With its expertise in the ink domain, the Chemicals business has addressed this challenge with FlexFab HR Ink, a solvent-based printing ink designed for printing on HDPE/PP woven packaging structures. Due to its sharp printability, high strength, excellent adhesion on laminates, and scratch resistance properties, FlexFab HR Ink is highly valued by its customers.
1) Registered Lamination Process-led Machine for Clear Product Packaging: Brands have always been exploring ways to earn consumers’ trust and gain credibility for their products. One way to achieve this is to give consumers a clear view of what’s packed inside via a see-through window. However, in achieving this, the aesthetic of a pack often tends to get compromised. To ensure a fine blend of giving a clear view as well as maintaining visual appeal, the Engineering business of UFlex has introduced a registered lamination process.
The automated process embedded in the machine combines two films into the process that keeps track of the pre-printed mark on film on both unwinders. This process detects any errors emanating which yields a precise registered lamination product with zero defect output. During the entire process, the products’ visibility and packs’ aesthetics remains the focal point. This process has already found acceptance by quite a few customers wanting to promote product visualization.